Nock gets drifter presentation by GOMI team

A drifter workshop was given to the 8th grade science students at the Nock on April 27th.  This presentation was lead by one of the Newburyport GOMI high schools students with some back up from John Halloran and John Terry. This was a design workshop wherein students developed on paper their first image of their drifter.

The plan from here is to build prototype drifters and test them in a lab setting for buoyancy, durability, etc. and then design, build, test and launch real drifters (up to 6) off the coast of Cape Anne on June 3.  Upon the launching, students will, in collaboration with NOAA, track, record and analyze, the data being transmitted.

The next step will take place at Summer Workshop 2015 to be held at Acadia University June 30 through July 6.  At Workshop 2015, along with a regular themes, Dr. Anna Redden, Director of the Estuarine Research Centre and Acadia Tidal Energy Institute, will teach a tidal energy module and four teachers from our GOMI place-based education training workshop will be working  on the drifter module.

The pictures were taken by Nock drifter teacher, Mary Kate Allen. Click on image for larger view.

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GOMI student shows the way

11205164_1010991518912837_7569092997499343650_nLauren Healey and an other Newburyporter both placed third in the Massachusetts State Science Fair. She received $100, a biology textbook, and is the alternate for the UMASS-Amherst scholarship! It was a great finish for her history of success at high school science fairs. Now, its time for some outreach!

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Additional thoughts on GOMI mini in Nova Scotia

Report from Roger Outhouse

It was a great conference and we had everyone in our team home by 4:00 pm. The youth were very happy with the whole conference and I believe that is supported by the comments of the leaders. Frances Anderson said it was a fun time for her (and for us). The staff at the school were great and we all owe Wanda Gillis a huge thank you for her efforts and we could not have held the conference without her. Cathy, Scott, Helen and Etheren, it may have taken a bit to finally get the Barrington Mini underway but it was worth the wait! My best to all participants. I’m already testing out the lichen guide!

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Maritime mini a great success

The four Maritime teams got together for a mini conference on May 1st and 2nd for a wonderful program hosted at Barrington Municipal High School.  The school was most generous in supplying space and food services. Thanks to Helen Goreham for doing all the logistics and program arrangements. The team leaders also helped in doing the preparation so it was a great team effort.

We started off on Friday afternoon with a presentation by lichenologist, Frances Anderson. We had a presentation, hands on experience and a trip on the Barrington High lichen trail. This is one of two trails in Nova Scotia that provide this experience and Barrington was the first. The other was developed by the Digby/Islands team at the Balancing Rock trail on Long Island. YES – two unique trails in Nova Scotia and both developed by GOMI teams. Does anyone know of any other “lichen trails” anywhere?

After a nice spaghetti supper we had presentations of each home teams projects. Each team is developing multiple projects so with four teams we probably have over 30 projects going at any one time. These all have a big impact on the Gulf of Maine and our local communities. We were pleased to welcome back a team from Bear River led by Cruzer Meuse who is the first youth participant (started in 7th grade) who has become a new team leader. We elders tried to refrain from saying “we remember when…”

Saturday morning we had a presentation by Sue Abbott on Piping Plovers, their habitat, and the ongoing programs for their recovery. This was followed by a morning to field trip to a Plover beach to see the birds and their habitat. We saw at least six birds that had returned to the beach. The most memorable was a chick that had been banded at White Point in Nova Scotia, spent the winter in the Bahamas, and had returned here to Barrington. Most of us thought the bird had a better winter than us.

We returned to the high school for lunch and our closing ceremony. GOMI will plant an apple tree at the school as is our customary carbon footprint exchange after all of our conference gatherings.

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GOMI action at Digby/Islands


Click for the story: winter 2015 issue word_webTide

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Contribute to GOMI with every purchase

Make your AMAZON purchases count
Many of us do shop on line and use Amazon for some purchases. As a means of making contributions to GOMI easier and broader based GOMI has been registered with Amazon’s Smile charity.  If you purchase anything from Amazon you may have 0.5% of your purchase price go to GOMI, no extra cost to you.  All you need to do is start each shopping session at the URL, be sure GOMI is your designated charity (you need to set this in your account file) and Amazon we will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to GOMI.  Again no cost to you, and if many of us choose to do this, the donations can add up… especially for a small non-profit such as GOMI.  So please take advantage of this opportunity and also tell your friends or colleagues who may be interested in supporting GOMI.  Its actually a great way for those who are buying things via Amazon to contribute to GOMI without having to reach any deeper into their pockets.
Please see for program details.
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Search for Alumni

We are informing you about an exciting alumni initiative that Cyrus Woodman and Derek Stehlin (GOMI alumni) have decided to take on in 2015 with the hopes that some of you may be able to help us out! Over the years, GOMI has touched and influenced so many young individuals. GOMI relationships have been made, lessons have been taught and progress has been achieved. So Derek and I are asking themselves – “where are all those alumni?”

With that being said, the two are currently working with GOMI leadership to build stronger alumni relationships via an Alumni Association, which can only add more power to the GOMI initiative! So many of our alumni have moved on to fabulous schools, noteworthy employers and meaningful causes. The GOMI breed now goes back more than 14 years and continues to grow!

Derek and Cyrus are quite basically going to attempt to unite and reconnect the GOMI alumni! Hopefully, if all goes well, they will be able to leverage the strengths of our alumni base and benefit current students and future generations of GOMI. Our first challenge here will be to pull together alumni contacts and that’s primarily what we informing you about today. As a member of the web we think you may be able to offer us the alumni contact information that we’re on the hunt for.

If you’re able to help us on our mission, we’re hoping to get the following information for any and all alumni:

-HS Year of Graduation

We’ll be using this information to create a database for our alumni efforts moving forward and any help from you all would be greatly appreciated!

We look forward to hearing back from you and keeping you informed as this moves forward in the future!

Contacts are:

Cyrus + Derek
[email protected]
[email protected]

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Community interaction

One of the goals of GOMI is to have youth involved in community affairs. Abi Moore attended her first meeting of 8 towns and the Great Marsh, a regional environmental Board, representing the coastal communities of Essex County, Newburyport. GOMI had two students representing their city. Here is Abi’s thorough report to the Mayor.

8 Towns and A Great Marsh Meeting: March

In Attendance: Jay Baker Peter and Alicia Moore Jeff Walker Nathaniel Mulkay and Spouse Peter Phippen Deb Carey

The meeting began with a powerpoint presentation made by Peter Phippen on the topic of Great Marsh Restoration. He spoke to the topics of ecological restoration, dune nourishment, eelgrass planting, as well as the assessment, modeling and prioritization of hydrologic barriers, all of which will be executed with the use of the federal grant of 323,000, as well as fundings from collaborators totaling approximately 2.9 million in grants.

The slideshow went into more depth of native salt marsh restoration, including plans to plant eelgrass on 3 acres of land already picked out in Plum Island and Essex. Eelgrass is important to this area because it prevents erosion by anchoring its roots to seafloor sediment and slowing water flow. It has been 75 years since eelgrass have been planted locally, and has been found growing locally in only one location. The plans to plant eelgrass in these locations this summer will involve The Student Conservation Association by the utilization of their volunteers, and possibly the hiring, training and employing of students. In terms of hydrologic barriers, all will be assessed and the top 100 will be prioritized and redesigned.

Peter touched upon the points of dune restoration on Plum Island and Salisbury beach, as well as sediment transport on and off land outside Plum Island and into Essex. In addition to budgeting for these things, another aspect of what the grant will be used for is community resilience planning, with town level task forces in case of emergency. This finalized Peter Phippen’s presentation on the topic of grant spending for the Great Marsh Restoration project.

Following Peter’s presentation was Jay Baker, who used to work with Peter at Mass Bay and was part of state government for thirteen years before he quit his job to become an oyster farmer. He talked about his oyster farming endeavors, and his business, “Fat Dog Shellfish Company”, and their strategies for growing the best oysters. He spoke about the importance of oyster farming here, as it reduces turbidity and so, promotes the growth of eelgrass. Shellfish populations are greatly declining, and the hard shells grown together show evidence of commensalism or benefiting from growing together, so planting oysters will also increase clam and mussel populations.

Jay Baker introduced Nathaniel Mulkay to do his presentation on aquaculture. Nathaniel started with a brief history of aquaculture, the farming of aquatic plants or animals for food, explaining how the Romans invented it due to a need for more oysters than they could fish. He also informed the group that Plum Island’s depuration plant was the worlds first. He told us that New England’s clam population is in a very bad place currently, going from 52,908 bushels in 1997, to 2,626 bushels in 2014. He talked about his own experiments farming razor clams, which he has found a successful way to do, and hope will provide the necessary diversification for a healthy clam population. Mulkay also talked about how he had developed a pellet stove that can burn phragmite pellets, something the group was interested in speaking to him in greater depth about.

The meeting came to an end after Nathaniel Mulkay’s presentation.

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Newbury team studies Merrimack River water quality

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In With the Tide – Fall 2014

Click on the link to read the newsletter and find out about adventures of the Digby Neck / Islands team!

Fall 2014 issue word II_web (1)

in with tide

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